Physician Assistants, popularly referred to as “PAs,” are healthcare professionals who work as part of the medical team. Their duties include examining patients, interpreting lab tests, assisting in surgery, deciding the treatment method for patients, and providing medical care.
PAs work in hospitals, care centers, health clinics, phone triage facilities, and surgery centers. Today, PAs practice in every medical and surgical specialty and setting.
Career Opportunities for a Physician Assistant
Physician Assistants are a relatively new medical profession that are seeing increased interest, as of late. PAs provide an important role as part of the healthcare team.
A study by the NCCPA in 2016 shows that PAs have amazing job opportunities upon graduation. According to their data, 58% of graduates reported they had ample opportunities within a 50 miles radius of their institution, with an overall opportunity rate of 86.9% at the national level. A PA graduate is almost guaranteed to land a job. (source link)
Career Benefits of Being a Physician Assistant
1. Salary Opportunity
Money Watch ranked the PA profession as one of “America’s 11 Highest Paying Careers in 2017,” with an average salary outcome of $112,529 (March 8, 2017). According to the most recent data from Payscale, the average Physician Assistant’s salary is just over $90,000 (source). Depending on the specialty you work in—such as dermatology and surgery—you stand the chance to make more than other specialties.
2. Freedom to Select Your Area of Interest
PAs have the opportunity to change their specialties during their career. These changes can be made due to personal schedules, energy level, or personal preference.
3. Scholarships and Numerous Opportunities to Pursue Your Career
Since the demand for PAs is growing fast, many agencies are willing to offer scholarships and loan repayment programs in exchange of service (usually 2 years). This is a smart way to avoid student loan debt and a great way to start your career.
There are a host of reasons to become a PA. It’s up to you to decide if the career opportunities and outcomes are in line with your goals.
Now that you would like to study to be a PA, you need to select the best university that offers this program.